CINCINNATI - The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati plans to update language in its teachers' contract following a committee's suggestions on its morality clauses.
Archdiocese spokesman Dan Andriacco told the Cincinnati Enquirer (http://cin.ci/1NDFq1d ) that the tweaked language in the contract will clarify what is expected of employees. The clarifications come after last year's contract sparked protests for its language prohibiting "homosexual lifestyles," abortion, artificial insemination and public support for any of those causes.
The public battle, which included a protest march, online petitions and a dozen opposition billboards, had divided some of the region's Catholics. But a large majority of the schools' 2,800 teachers still signed the contract.
Andriacco says the updates include changing the wording from "public support" of such causes to "advocacy." The diocese had received many questions about what constituted "public support."
"If I go to my gay child's wedding, is that 'public support?' Well, the answer is no," Andriacco said.
For example, writing a blog in support of gay marriage would be considered advocacy, but writing a personal letter to a senator on the same topic would not, he said.
"What we wanted to do was, without in any way softening our intentions of the contract, make it still clearer what was intended," Andriacco said.
Some opponents of the contract's morality clauses said the changes don't make much difference.
The contract for the 2014-15 school year was drafted after the archdiocese in 2010 fired an unmarried teacher who became pregnant by artificial insemination. A federal court in 2013 ruled in that teacher's favour, ordering the archdiocese to pay her $171,000.
Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer, http://www.enquirer.com